Trademark Application

Tom Brady’s (an American football quarterback for the New England Patriots of the National Football League) request to trademark ‘Tom Terrific’ has been recently denied by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The rejection came after Tom got publicly criticized for his decision to trademark the term ‘Tom Terrific’ – a nickname commonly associated with Tom Seaver, a retired American professional baseball pitcher, for commercial use.

According to the Trademark Application filed, Tom’s team tried to trademark the nickname to sell T-shirts and other related merchandise bearing the phrase. However, Tom alleged that he had filed the trademark application only because he didn’t like the nickname. He further claimed that he tried to trademark the nickname to prevent its use in the future. By filing the trademark application, Brady wanted to prevent everyone from using the nickname for profit. Had the trademark application been approved,  no one would have had the option to use the nickname on merchandise, regardless of whether the merchandise had anything to do with Brady or not.

The USPTO rejected Tom’s trademark application on August 22, 2019, by stating that it included matter which may falsely suggest a connection or association with the legendary pitcher Tom Seaver. In a document found in the trademark application database, the USPTO wrote that the proposed mark ‘Tom Terrific’ unmistakably and uniquely points to Tom Seaver and the reputation of Seaver is such that a connection between him and the applied-for merchandise would be presumed.

Tom’s legal team has six months to respond to the decision made by the USPTO. If he fails to do so, the application filed for the trademark will be considered abandoned. However, after considering the amount of backlash Tom has received after filing the trademark application from Seaver’s fans, it appears to be likely that he will assume the misfortune here.